What you should never put near a radiator?

What you should never put near a radiator?

If you read our recent post on where to put your radiator, you'll know that installing you rad in the right place can have an impact on how efficient your heating is.

Traditionally, radiator positioning advice was to put radiators under windows to ensure that cold air seeping through inefficient single panes was heated.

However, with the advent of double glazing and vertical radiators, there is much more versatility around where radiators can be installed.

That being said, there are still some things that should not be placed in front of radiators wherever possible.

Curtains

Curtains should be long enough to cover your window, but not long enough that they hang over your radiators.

While it's very unlikely that a curtain will catch alight from being heated up to a high temperature, do you really want to take the risk. This is especially important if you have old electric radiators, where a faulty rad could create a spark.

Additionally, thick curtains hanging over a rad may actually hinder heat from circulating evenly around your room and could cause you to turn the heat up to compensate. Increased use of energy would increase your heating bills.

Decorative hanging drapes should also be kept well clear of radiators.

Lamps

It's best to keep lamps at a distance from radiators to avoid them from getting too hot.

Lamps are obviously powered by electricity and will have wires dangling down behind them. It's incredibly important to keep wiring from making contact with radiators as the high temperatures could eventually melt the outer casing of the wire.

Some lampshades are made of paper so it's always advisable to keep them at a safe distance from the heat of a radiator.

A stylish roomset featuring a red sofa next to a red vertical radiatorA stylish roomset featuring a red sofa next to a red vertical radiator

Sofas

As per our resident heating expert, Nicholas Auckland's article in The Sun, where you put large items of furniture (such as a sofa) can have a huge impact on heating circulating around a room.

Nicholas explains:

"Things like a sofa or a chest of drawers pushed right against a radiator can block the heat from coming into the room, meaning you're spending a lot of money to heat the back of them. Pulling them a few inches away from the rad can create a channel for the heat to rise up and into the room, potentially saving you up to £100 per year. 

Due to limited space, it's inevitable that you will come across the issue of having to put a large piece of furniture in front of a radiator. If you do need to do this then leave that gap and don't be tempted to turn up your heating to compensate."

Bookshelves

If you are considering whether to put a bookshelf in front of the radiator, then do spare a thought for the health of your books.

Not only is high heat and paper a potential fire hazard, repeated exposure can also dry out the spine of your books causing pages falling out.

Beds

Beds should also have a small gap left between them and the radiator.

There's the potential for rolling over and burning yourself in the night on a hot rad. Alternatively, sleeping too close to a radiator could you give you insomnia or give you a headache from over heating.

A stylish room with a bed with orange bedspread and an anthracite horizontal radiator under a windowA stylish room with a bed with orange bedspread and an anthracite horizontal radiator under a window

Moving radiators

There are occasions when you might need to move a radiator to make better use of space, to accommodate furniture or because you need to decorate behind it.

Sometimes this can be done relatively easily, while in some situations it can involve taking up your floorboards and rerouting some pipework.

Ideally we recommend that you leave this job to a professional, however if you do have some DIY experience, please take a look at the video below to see how to move a radiator across a room.


Ben Clarke

I have over 10 years of experience researching and writing about a broad range of heating-related subjects. I understand the significance of home heating and strive to provide you with high-quality radiator content in an easy-to-understand manner.

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